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NC Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler

NC Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler

If the recent actions of State Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler in upholding the ban on hidden, loaded handguns at the North Carolina State Fair has been enough to convince you that there may still be a little bit of hope for the Old North State, check out the “thank you” campaign that’s been organized by the good people at North Carolinians Against Gun Violence.

As the thank you note states:

Dear Commissioner Troxler:

Thank you for keeping the ban on concealed weapons at the NC State Fair.  Everyone should feel safe at our state fairgrounds.  We hope that people will listen to your message to leave their guns in the car or at home so that everyone can have a safe time at the fair.

Thanks again,

Click here to learn more and/or add your name to the list.

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There’s been a lot of news lately about the North Carolina Department of Agriculture’s apparent disinterest in enforcing state law and punishing wrongdoers. In December, State Auditor Beth Wood released a report showing the DOA failed to issue up to $2.5 million in fines for violations related to handling of propane, collecting instead only $4,100.  

Now the DOA has done it again. Rather than throw the book at Hoke County turkey plant officials responsible for animal cruelty, DOA employee Sarah Jean Mason tipped off the veterinarian at the plant that an inspection was imminent.  After Dr. Mason pled guilty to giving confidential information during a criminal investigation and giving false statements to the Hoke County Sheriff’s Department, the DOA suspended her for two weeks.

It’s time our state agencies started taking enforcement seriously. The NC Department of Labor has a similar history of ignoring repeat violators and reducing fines when it comes to enforcing laws that protect some of our most vulnerable workers.  As Wood’s report said, “[the] expectation of voluntary compliance with respect to repairs or corrective action has been ineffective.”